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Pitt's Jabaal Sheard and Penn State's Stefen Wisniewski named to AFCA All-America Team

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Pitt defensive end Jabaal Sheard and Penn State guard Stefen Wisniewski have been named to the 25-player All-America Team selected by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA).

Wisniewski is the 78th first-team All-American under coach Joe Paterno. The 6-3, 306-pound Central Catholic grad, is one of five Big Ten playes on the first unit.

He has started 37 of the past 38 games for the Nittany Lions, who finished the regular season 7-5.

Last week Wisniewski became the first Penn State football player to be named a three-time Academic All-American.

Sheard, 6-4, 260-pounds, is one of the country’s most productive defenders this year, regardless of position. Despite being the constant focus of opponents’ blocking schemes, he has compiled 45 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, 9.0 sacks, four forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

Sheard leads the Big East in forced fumbles (0.36 forced fumbles/game), ranks second in tackles for loss (1.14 TFLs/game) and is third in sacks (0.82 sacks/game). Nationally, he ranks fifth in forced fumbles (tied) and 15th in sacks.

Sheard has forced teams to game plan around him without having the benefit of preseason All-America end Greg Romeus on the opposite side as Romeus missed all but two games this year due to injury. According to Pitt coaching staff calculations, Sheard has faced double teams 70% of all passing downs this year.

“We are all incredibly proud that Jabaal has received this prestigious honor,” Wannstedt said. “From the first snap of training camp to his final game, he has been just exceptional. Jabaal is very deserving of joining the All-America tradition we have at Pitt.”

“I am very humbled and appreciative to receive this honor from the American Football Coaches Association,” Sheard said. “While it is my name on the award, this really is about my teammates and coaches. They have helped me become the person and player I am today. I will always be indebted to them.”

Sheard’s honor marks the 88th first-team All-America citation in Pitt football history.

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